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I have a laptop with a 240 GB SSD and a Windows 10 OS installed on all the drive space. I want to have a Linux Mint on my pendrive but it's really slow and i can't store any data on that system so i want to install it alongside my Windows 10 with as little as space i can give Linux Mint. But i don't think the option "Install Linux Mint alongside Windows 10" it's safe for my windows and i don't have any big enough USB drive to backup it. So my question is "It is safe to do this?" and i want to know how little space i can give Linux Mint.

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Yes you can do this. In my experience the golden rule here is to use each operating system's own tools to manage its partitions, even if the other OS says it can manage them. So, use the Windows Disk Management tool to shrink your Windows partition. Yes, Ubuntu could do it too, but no one k ow windows like Microsoft. (The rule applies going the other way too...use Linux tools to manipulate Linux file systems. )

Then, once you have the space, you can boot the Ubuntu install and have it create a partition on the empty space and install.

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Theoretically it's not safe. The installer will organise place for the new OS and this will mean moving files on Windows partitions in order to resize them. You will be warned about this and about it not being safe and that you should back up your files.

Practically, I've done this many times and have never lost any data.

As for the space, depending on what OS configuration you fancy, as little as 5GB for a simple server up to 20GB more for a GUI desktop will be enough. If you're really pressed for space and want a GUI desktop, 15G should be ok too, though you may feel from time to time that the space is scarce.

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Always there is a risk, however most of the Linux distributions (including Linux Mint) minimize that risk by a more user-friendly installation process.

I haven't tried myself, but there is a good tutorial here to install Linux Mint 18 alongside Windows 8.x or Windows 10. It simply consists of these main steps.

  • Set apart an unallocated space by Windows' Disk Management tool.
  • Reboot the computer and boot from a DVD or USB drive.
  • Once Linux Mint runs in live-mode, start installation by clicking "Install Linux Mint".
  • Set your preferences and proceed. The most important part here is selecting the installation type and creating the partitions correctly.
  • If the instructions are followed properly, Windows and Linux Mint will work alongside.

The worst mistake would be erasing the disk, which Windows is running on. I have installed Linux alongside Windows lots of times for years, but I have never lost data.

Let's come on to the required disk space for Linux Mint. I have checked the system requirements for Linux Mint 18.2 Cinnamon and Xfce, both have the same requirements. You need 15GB space at minimum, however 20GB is recommended.

The Linux Mint Blog (blog.linuxmint.com) says:

System requirements:

  • 1GB RAM (2GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 15GB of disk space (20GB recommended).
  • 1024×768 resolution (on lower resolutions, press ALT to drag windows with the mouse if they don’t fit in the screen).

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